Sheriffs Bust Another Illegal Indoor Gathering in Queens Amid COVID Spike Concerns

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Despite citywide rules on large gatherings and repeated warnings by officials of an uptick in coronavirus cases, nearly 200 people were busted at an illicit indoor gathering in Queens.

NYC deputy sheriffs found 192 people inside the Flushing building shortly after 12 a.m. Sunday, nearly 24 hours after breaking up an illicit wedding of nearly 300 guests in Woodside the night before.

Once inside, authorities said they witnessed people gathered without face coverings or social distancing. The location on Kissena Boulevard was also illegally selling alcohol, officials said.

The location's owner and an employee were arrested and issued appearance tickets on a series of charges. The remaining occupants were issued masks and dispersed from the area.

The raid came amid growing concerns over surging COVID-19 clusters in Brooklyn and Queens. Top health officials have warned the city was just days from having to re-impose some lockdown restrictions if the clusters could not be brought under control.

The clusters in Brooklyn and Queens have grown 3.3 times the citywide average recorded over the past 14 days, the NYC Health Department revealed Saturday.

The Health Department said that there will be regular inspections of all non-public schools within the cluster area and adjacent zip codes, and enforcement staff will be increased in order to ensure that mask and social distancing compliance remains in place. NBC New York' Tracie Strahan reports.
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